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Your Business

News/Business. A focus on issues facing small business in the United States.

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00:30:00

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Us 9, Jonah 4, Tulsa 3, New Jersey 3, America 3, Amanda 2, Sba 2, Jennifer 2, Karen 2, Christine Osbourne 2, South Carolina 2, Magnolia Park 2, Thailand 2, The City 1, Ploomgloomy 1, Jamee Haley 1, Shannon 1, Kathy 1, Bartlett 1, Alison 1,
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  MSNBC    Your Business    News/Business. A focus on issues  
   facing small business in the United States.  

    November 18, 2012
    4:30 - 5:00am PST  

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thailand will play an important role in the meetings in cambo a cambodia. i want to thank our thai friends for being so supportive in our role. they will discuss regional challenges including security. i want to thank you for your hospitality and your partnership because of the progress we've made today i think we have put the u.s.-thai alliance on a firmer footing for many years to come. tonight i look forward to celebrating the bonds of friendship between our peoples and enjoying thai food, which is one of my favorites. so thank you very much. >> that was president barack obama in thailand, and now "your business."
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hi there, everyone. welcome to a very special edition of "your business." it comes in between black friday and cyber monday. this year small business saturday is november 24th. we're coming to you from maplewood, new jersey. a storm battered states where small businesses need customers more than ever. across the country in burbank, california -- park section of that city, local retailers have banded together to revitalize not only sales but also their neighborhood.
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normally the stores would be closing and the streets would be quiet. they call it ladies night out where people are coming out to celebrate and support the unique companies. i like to help. it makes me feel like i'm a part of the community. bhu the park wasn't always like this. just a couple of years ago the area known as antique alley was a ghost town. there was no extra money. they came up with the simple
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idea of staying up late one friday every month to have a party for the customers. >> kathy said what do we do to get more women in? i went friday night, girls night. let's make it a party. have complimentary wine and offer a discount. >> when they come in they have to roll for the discount. they bounce. and it's hilarious. we have about 30 or 40 people come in the first night. and we knew we were onto something. >> the idea started to take off with amanda and jennifer decided they wanted to participate in ladies night, too. there really were no goals other than to create a night when people would come to the neighborhood and see how great it is. >> jennifer, amanda and other
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retailers started working together on new ideas to attract ladies. one idea, inviting trenty food trucks. >> people love food. and you cannot get away from that. they like trying different things. i mean you can g to three or four in one night if you dare. and many more new customers are discoverying magnolia park every month. >> they use facebook and twitter to post where they're going to be. so they have our built-in audience already for them. so it's sort of a win-win. we have new customers coming to an area maybe they've never been in. two years after starting ladies night, retailers in magnolia park now have a very positive outlook and very healthy sales. >> that night is an important
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night for us. it comes at the end of the month. it's such a nice boost. we always say if we make our rent that night, we're so pleased and we do. the success is attracting new business to the area. like shannon's wine bar. the new retail store front is opening soon. >> to come in and be able to open my business, if i didn't have the support of the community it wouldn't happen. i've been on the street and have somebody say did you know there's a wine bar coming to magnolia park, and i say, yes, i do. the day reserved to support your local small businesses. >> this sounds cheesy but i cried a little. the store was full of people. they picked us to spend their money. >> instead of once a year the
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feeling happens once a month in mag knoll ya park. >> i feel that an event like ladies night at has really changed the area and affected the residents. community is so important. knowing my customers' names and them coming in and seeing their kids is what it's all about. >> this is attracting everyone now, not just ladies who want something fun to do. >> with the economy the way it is, if you can help out a small business, stay alive and keep thriving it's all going to work out in the long run. >> to tell you the truth, this place has turned around quite a bit. it was very ploomgloomy. it's turned into a popular
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place. you see so many people around here. it's great. >> shopping small has become a way of life in south carolina where local small business owners have discovered their strength in numbers. they're spending time visiting friends, and each other about the importance of supporting small business. >> when you focus on just your business it doesn't work. when you're a local business owner you are part of the community. >> christine osbourne says running a small business is more about cooperation than ever before. >> it's not about competition. >> marianna, the third generation of krogan's jewel box agrees. when the economy was down, she and her peers turned to each other. >> we needed something. >> the result was charleston, south carolina's own buy local
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movemen movement. >> i tell people we're about preserving a people and a place. executive director jamie hailey says thinking small wasn't something people talked about in 2007. >> there was nobody educating the community on why it was important. nobody was working together to try to get the message out. so we just did a whole lot of knocking on people's doors. saying will you meet with me? since then low country local first has grown to 500 members. >> it's so grass roots that other people were telling their colleagues about it. >> in order to best support local squlout lets members have
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to meet certain criteria. >> you have to be locally own and independent. you have to be headquartered here. you have to be able to make all of your own marketing advertising decisions, et cetera. we want to see that you are able to spend those dollars, dollars, back in this community. >> once accepted, those members can start telling people about it. >> look for that buy local decal in the window. >> low country local first backs a handful of initiatives. buy local month from november 15th to december 15th. it was originally just a week long. >> the main idea is we're trying to get people to make conscious decisions about what they're spending their dollars. they said a week is great, but we needed a longer campaign to have a bigger impact. >> christine says the ripple effect is staggering.
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>> for every dollar you spend in a local business, three is made in community. if i buy from a local vendor, every dollar makes six. >> to ensure the success of local events, low country local first promotes all of the members. >> the network of local businesses that support each other is really important. >> alison's new craft making business got a boost from plenty of likes and tweets. >> i really got to see people coming into my brand new business that was open two weeks. my e-mail newspaper letter burst. my facebook page increased immediately. >> it's a soundingboard i can call people and get their bes practices. who do they use for their accounting? >> even during a walk down the street members are always
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offering advice now. >> it's part of my life now. every day i'm on the phone with somebody. they're like my partners. >> this type of cooperation in the low country is here to stay. for many members it's a different way of doing business. but now they wouldn't do it any other way. >> if somebody said christine osbourne would be listening and embracing this new way of doing things i would have said no. i know how to run my business. i can keep doing it. but jamie hey jamee haley came in and i listened to her. and i'm grateful that i did. >> i think people understand the value of it. from the palmetto state to the sooner state, there are plenty of reasons why holiday shoppers attention and their wallets should be shifted away
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from big chain stores and towards mom and pop shops in their area. mayor bartlett great to see you. >> good to see you. thank you. >> what is tulsa doing to get ready for small business saturday? >> tulsa is a mecca for small business. we're having a lot of local promotions but we're trying to do it specifically. in the downtown area we are opening up buildings that have specialized shops inside the building in larger areas where they have an opportunity because of one bit of advertising that brings people inside. it's like having a mall in the downtown area. >> for a lot of people who want to support small business but they want to do one-top shopping. it's cheaper at a big box store. as the mayor of the city, why is it so important that people
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support small business? >> well, for our city about 80% of our revenue comes from sales taxes reseals. there's so much of it it around. it supports local people. and we're not as tied to decisions made outside the economy. locally we are doing very well. so we may have a more affordable buying pattern. decisions made low l cally are in the best interest. >> are you going to be out there on saturday buying stuff in small stores? >> absolutely. we have to lead by example. our city council is supportive
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of the concept. we in the city council are very united in this effort. because we realize we're one tulsa. we're one group of communities. and collectively we're a lot more strong in how we can approach economic development opportunity. so having more friends in that regard was a better opportunity for us. >> con grandchildlations on all the work you're doing to prefair for this. >> thank you very much. appreciate your help. >> if you want to take the most advantage of small business saturday, listen up, here now are five resources you can use to help your company grow on november 24th. one, signage. posted printouts are a great way to get the word out. you can get two pieces of signage professionally printed for free at a fed-ex office. two, official banners and logos.
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use the material to promote your blog, website or anywhere else online. three social media and e-mail templates. take the guess work out of promoting your business using the blog examples, tweets and e-mail ls. four, geo targeted online advertising. go on shopsmall.com to register your business. and number five, success stories. get tips for other small businesses that you can use to grow your sales on small business saturday. when we come back, karen mill mils talks to us about what her agency is doing to get people to shop small. we'll also talk to some store owners to find out how they are working to get people to buy local.
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you won't find a "home rule" on every corner, a "stag provisions" down every block, or a "hugh and crye" in every town. these are the small businesses of america, and all across the nation they're getting ready for their day. hundreds of thousands of small businesses are preparing for november 24, a day to open doors, and welcome the millions of customers who will turn out to shop small. small business saturday. visit shopsmall.com and get ready. because your day is coming. >> when it comes to marketing your local business, think about a five-mile radius. this tip comes from linda duke who say there is are a few things to think about. first, empower your employees to
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become ambassadors. give them samples of your products or coupons so they can distribute those to their friends create community-based partnerships. and finally, concentrate on local pr. make friends with your local newspaper's editors and send them story ideas. so the five-mile rule. today we come to you from maplewood, new jersey, at a local independent bookstore called words. when jonah and ellen bought this struggling bookstore a few years ago, they changed the mission, making it a haven for young people with autism. now a few years later the store is thriving not only as a bookstore, but as a place that teaches these kids the skills they need to transitions from being students to part of the workforce. in the quiet new york city
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suburb of maplewood, new jersey, another bookstore almost disappeared until jonah and emily came to the rescue. even though they knew nothing about the book business. >> when jonah came he didn't have a bookstore background, so he was depending on us to be able to help him out. >> with the change in ownership became a change in management style. she was hand on on, doing most of the work herself. a recent graduate of business school, jonah was very idea in job crafting to better utilize the talents of his staff. >> it's changing the jobs to fit the people rather than the people to fit the jobs. now that can't always work 100%. sometimes we have to buckle down and do something we're not good at or don't like, but as much as possible, it's in everyone's interest if people are doing what they're good at and what they like. >> with an experienced staff already in place he worked with each of them to determine their
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likes and dislikes. >> so for instance, she does the ordering. that's really her specialty. i do the scheduling, the tech stuff, things like that. i do have a lod more responsibilities now than i did before. >> with the day-to-day operations being run by the star, they had time to try something else near and dear to their heart. with a son diagnosed with autism, the family wanted to expand the mission of the store to be a welcoming environment to people with special needs. >> there's an understanding here. it's very comforting for me. i feel at home when i come here. if he should freak out or have an episode or start screaming, i don't think anybody here will care. >> they also created a vocational training program where kids with special needs could develop skills they could
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use in every day life. >> the hardest thing in applying for a job is not having experience. particularly a problem for people with special needs, but for all of us who all of us, ap. my thought was to provide a first job or experience on a resume so that people could leave us with real-life job experience and a recommendation for another job. k i learned about team work and cooperation. i learned about organization. i learned a lot of skills here. >> he's not going to be protected for the rest of his life, he can't be. he's not going to be able to function that way, nor do i want him to. having this as a steppingstone to the real world is wonderful and invaluable to him and me as a parent. >> thanks so much for coming, really appreciate it. >> the approach has revitalized the bookstore and made all the
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staffers more engaged and fulfilled in their jobs. >> i'm more vested. when i go home, i think oh, geez, i forgot to do this. first thing in the morning, i come back and do it. >> it's worked well to be empowered to make decisions and help run the place. they have been here since the beginning, have an ownership in the store. they take pride in the place. this is their place and they started it. >> it's given people with autism the chance at a better life. >> hiring someone with special needs is a good business idea. they will do jobs it's hard to get a college graduate to stick with. they show up, all weather, anytime of the day. they are there. they are on time. there's a role that works for them, it's a win/win for everybody. >> see ya, jonah. >> so how are retailers gearing up for small business saturday?
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we spoke to some store owners here to ask them what they are doing to bring in more customers on november 24th. >> we are going to have extended holiday hours so that people who are getting off the train later and stuff like that have time to do all their holiday shopping. on that day, we are going to have refreshments and a discount lottery. people will be able to come up to the register and pick out of a bowl and they either get 10% off or 20% off, up to 40% off. >> a special promotion, 10% off everything in the store. i do a blog for the store. i'll feature special items i have in for the holidays. then i offer cookies and you know, a special drink or something. some kind of treat. >> social media has been the biggest thing for us as far as getting the word out there and
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educating people. it's been great for us. i'm able to post pictures. i think people connect more if they see a picture of product and a caption saying oh, you can get this for 20% off on small business saturday. >> i send out e-mail blasts to my current customer base, facebook marketing and twitter. >> we have loyal customers who are, you know, our town supports small businesses in downtown maplewood. we, obviously, with all the publicity, around black friday, people tend to be distracted and go to the mall. it's great to redirect people back. >> in years prior, those couple days after thanksgiving were not busy days for small businesses because everybody was at the mall and shopping online. it's helped increase business. it's put the emphasis back on keeping it local.
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>> washington is solidly behind small business saturday and the shop local movement. i spoke to karen mills the head of the sba to ask what the agency is doing to help owners get the word out. >> well, i'm going to be shopping small on saturday. we are trying to encourage all of america to go down to main street and to take advantage of the terrific small businesses that are right there in your community. it's a win/win. you know, half of the people who work in this country own or work for a small business. many are right there as part of our important communities. we are able, on small business saturday and throughout the year to go and get the most wonderful food and restaurants and a personalized experience, maybe a unique gift from small business owners who are operating their own business right nearby. >> how can a small business take
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advantage of this so it's not just saturday that they are seeing an increase in customers but it happens all yearlong. >> this is a win/win. for small businesses, this is a chance for more revenue. small businesses should come to sba.gov and make a plan. many are doing ribbon cuttings and special promotions. they are having guests and making a celebrating environment. >> what will they find to help them plan for small business saturday? >> we always tell small businesses, if you don't have a counselor or an adviser or mentor, you should. when you come to sba.gov and put in your zip code, you will find the names and numbers of resources nearby. the best news is you can get a mentor or counselor for free. that counselor and adviser will know your business, help you
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develop a plan for small business saturday and generating local business throughout the year. >> what can small business owners do to encourage people to say no, why don't you come to my store and shop instead of the big box store and getting everything at once? >> when you go to a small business, you are getting the attention of often the owner himself or herself and for a customer, this means you can get a unique gift, a personalized experience and get it beautifully wrapped. shopping small is not only a pleasant experience when you have that one-to-one relationship, but you can very often get unique and very good priced gifts for the holiday season. >> one final question, any shoutout for a small business you are shopping at on small business saturday? >> i have a great main street in brunswick, maine. gelato fiasco is a great
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business. i never miss the opportunity to have a good gelato. >> thank you for coming on the program. we appreciate it. >> thank you. we have heard a lot of great advice about how to improve "your business" on today east show. let's get more ideas from small business owners like you. >> my great idea is that consumers have a plethora of choices. to differentiate yourself and separate yourself from competition, certify your business as woman or minority business. it's a fantastic marketing opportunity. >> make yourself memorable. it could be in your company name, the way you dress, the way you speak, the way you conduct yourself in the business. there are many ways. make yourself memorable. if you make yourself memorable and people like you and you are doing everything else correctly, people will think of you when they need your services. >> body language of people you are negotiating because people
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may say things that they don't intend for you to truly understand but their body language will never lie. observe their eyes to get more insight into what they are truly saying to you. >> are you looking for funding for your small business? financing may be closer than you think if you check out our website of the week. smallsnot.com let's people invest in your business. each campaign has a funding goal with a set ending. to get the capital, a local business must hit the goal before the campaign expires. to learn more about today's show, click on our website, it's openforum.com/yourbusiness. you'll find all of today's segments plus web exclusive content with more information to help your business grow. you can follow us on
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twitter, @msnbc your biz. we love getting your feedback. next week, a gluten free bakery does all it can to hide that its products are gluten free. >> even though it's more and more prevalent, there's a stigma to it. i wanted local traffic and didn't want to scare them away. until then, i'm j.j. ramberg. remember, we make your business our business. you won't find a "home rule" on every corner, a "stag provisions" down every block, or a "hugh and crye" in every town. these are the small businesses of america, and all across the nation they're getting ready for their day. hundreds of thousands of small businesses are preparing for november 24, a day to open doors, and welcome the millions of customers who will turn out to shop small.